Defensive lineman Anthony Lanier re-signs with Saskatchewan Roughriders

Anthony Lanier II is staying with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Riders announced Monday the defensive lineman had signed a one-year contract extension. Financial details weren't divulged, but a CFL source said the deal was worth a guaranteed $250,000 and included a $100,000 signing bonus and $10,000 bonus for reporting to training camp and passing a physical.

Lanier, 29, spent the last two seasons with Saskatchewan. He appeared in 11 regular-season games in 2022, recording 19 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

The six-foot-six 285-pound Lanier has played 21 career CFL regular-season games with Saskatchewan, registering 32 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles.

Before joining the Riders, Lanier spent five seasons in the NFL with Washington (2016-18), the L.A. Chargers (2018-20), Kansas City (2020) and New Orleans (2020). He appeared in 15 career games with the Commanders (two starts), registering 10 tackles (five for a loss), five sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

The defensive line would seem to be a priority for Saskatchewan, which re-signed defensive lineman Pete Robertson on Saturday. The six-foot-two 243-pound Robertson finished fourth in the CFL in sacks last year with nine while also registering 21 tackles (one for a loss), an interception and league-high five forced fumbles.

Lanier was scheduled to become a free agent Feb. 14. But starting Sunday, teams were able to begin talking to pending free agents and Lanier reportedly had four clubs, including Saskatchewan, interested in securing his services for 2023.

Two CFL sources said Saskatchewan is also speaking to quarterback Trevor Harris and receiver Eugene Lewis, who both spent last season with the Montreal Alouettes.

Harris, 36, completed 71.6 per cent of his passes for 4,157 yards last season while Lewis was the East Division's outstanding player with 91 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Hamilton announced it had re-signed veteran quarterback Matthew Shiltz on Monday. The six-foot-two 205-pound Shiltz is entering his sixth CFL season — second with the Tiger-Cats — and will provide a veteran presence behind veteran Bo Levi Mitchell, who signed a three-year deal with the club last month.

Shiltz, 30, started three games last season, winning two. He completed 85 of 119 passes (71.4 per cent) for 935 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 28 times for 152 yards (5.4-yard average) and a touchdown.

Shiltz was eligible to come a CFL free agent.

Hamilton also re-signed Canadian running back Sean Thomas Erlington. The 30-year-old Montreal native ran for 371 yards on 53 carries (seven-yard average) and a TD last season while adding 25 catches for 216 yards and a touchdown in 18 regular-season contests.

The five-foot-nine 217-pounder has appeared in 62 career regular-season games over five seasons with Hamilton, running 191 times for 1,170 yards (6.1-yard average ) and six touchdowns while adding 63 catches for 631 yards and three TDs.

The Calgary Stampeders signed global punter/kicker Toshiki Sato, a '21 second-round pick of the Toronto Argonauts, and released American defensive back Trumaine Washington, who was slated to become a free agent next week.

Montreal signed Canadian receiver Kaion Julien-Grant to a two-year contract extension. The six-foot-two 212-pound Toronto native had 36 catches for 517 yards and three TDs last season and has 45 receptions for 658 yards and three touchdowns over three seasons (45 regular-season games) with the Alouettes.

Under terms of the CFL's negotiating window, other pending free agents have until noon ET on Sunday to entertain offers from other clubs.

Those proposals — including base salary and incentives — must be registered with the league and CFL Players’ Association. Any submissions made will be considered binding.

When the window closes, teams will have 48 hours to negotiate exclusively with their own potential free agents. The CFL will provide clubs with registered offers that have been made to those players.

Teams will then have until 10 a.m. ET on Feb. 14 to make an offer to their own players, of which a copy must given to both the league and CFLPA.

Following the 48-hour period, the player will have two hours (10 a.m.-noon ET) on Feb. 14 to select any offer made to him. If he accepts one, the chosen team must then inform the CFL.

Should the player turn down all offers, he’ll enter free agency at 12:01 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Any prior offers will be no longer available.

The free-agency window was introduced in 2020 to curb tampering and also allow pending free agents to explore all of their options and gauge their value before the start of the free-agent period.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press